This cruise line has been little reviewed on Cruise Critic. Vantage is in an expansion phase but is sometimes forgotten in a market dominated by big cruise lines such as Viking. My wife and I are very itinerary focused and all of the stops on this cruise were new to us. We took their French Waterways: Beaujolais and Burgundy cruise. We were slated to to fly in to Marseille and take a shuttle to Tarascon. There was a change and we were taken directly to Avignon where we spent our first three days. The main difference between Viking and Vantage is that Vantage cruises take 11 days staying extra days in port while Viking cruises cover the same ports in eight days. When you consider the long flight to Europe it makes more sense to have a longer stay than an eight day cruise. The Vantage cruise has competitive pricing and is only sold directly through their website or office in Boston.
We were informed that the average age of a Vantage traveler is 60. For this cruise it was closer to 70. I see old people, wearing shorts, and lots of them! Vantage highlights that they cater to an American customer and the food/service reflect that focus. A typical day is stopping at a port, taking a city excursion (overview) from 9:00 a.m. to noon, lunch on the ship, and afternoon free time to further explore the port on their own. Most excursions are included in the fare but there may be additional extra excursions at additional cost. Audio Vox systems are used for excursions which make listening to the guides much easier (although they are not much help with the heavily-accented French guides).
The greatest strength of a cruise of this nature is the opportunity to be immersed in the French culture. Fine foods, delicious wines, visiting small villages off the beaten path, and expert guides helps one to better understand the unique French contributions to our world.
Food choices are limited but adequate. The service throughout the cruise was exceptional as all crew members are very focused on your satisfaction.
We booked the owner's suite. There were a lot of upgrades included but it was not worth the additional cost. The best value appears to be the regular suites which are very spacious at 250 square feet.